HARTFORD, Conn. –Some lawmakers on the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee were surprised to learn Saturday that the 2015 budget will rely upon an additional $75 million in tax collections.
Rep. Sean Williams, R-Watertown, called the $75 million change in revenue collection estimates “drastic,” especially considering the drop in revenue estimates and the elimination of keno from the budget.
Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, co-chairman of the committee, said the number reflects what the Department of Revenue Services believes it will be able to collect in unpaid taxes.
Following the successful tax amnesty program which brought in about $190 million in revenue when the state had estimated it would bring in about $35 million, Fonfara said the department is confident it can find that money through “enhanced” collection efforts.
The amnesty program, which ran from Sept. 16 to Nov. 15, 2013, allowed individuals and businesses who owed back taxes to receive a 75-percent reduction in the interest owed as part of the program. The opportunity to take advantage of that reduction in interest no longer exists, but state budget director Ben Barnes believes they still will be able to collect more delinquent taxes than in previous years based on the success of the amnesty program.
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